Posted by Kraut on December 04, 1999
In Reply to: Lick your calf posted by Steve on November 09, 1999
I've heard the expression used in the dairy industry. Once a cow births a calf, she licks it to stimulate its breathing, and to remove birth membranes (as do many other animals.)
I have no written documentation for this interpretation, but the implication that my ear hears is that if one doesn't do a good job the first time, and wants the project to succeed, one has to "lick your calf a second time."